from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Kurt Eisgruber,
Judge Trial Court Cause No. 49G01-1611-F3-45688
Attorney for Appellant Michael R. Fisher Marion County Public
Defender Agency Indianapolis, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana J.T. Whitehead Deputy Attorney General
Summary and Issues
Following a jury trial, Robert Carr was found guilty of
criminal confinement while armed with a deadly weapon, a
Level 3 felony; battery resulting in serious bodily injury, a
Level 5 felony; and escape, a Level 6 felony, among other
offenses. The trial court entered judgment of conviction for
the confinement, battery, and escape offenses only and
sentenced Carr to an aggregate sentence of fifteen years in
the Indiana Department of Correction. On appeal, Carr argues
that the admission of a prior statement made by the victim to
a law enforcement official violated his Sixth Amendment
confrontation rights. Carr also argues that the statement
constituted inadmissible hearsay. We conclude that Carr
forfeited his Sixth Amendment right to confrontation
regarding the prior statement due to his own wrongdoing. In
addition, we conclude that the statement was admissible under
the hearsay exception to the Indiana Rules of Evidence
permitting the admission of a prior statement where the
defendant wrongfully caused the declarant's
unavailability for trial. Thus, we affirm.
and Procedural History
On November 18, 2016, Haley Price and her housemate, S.G.,
held a party with friends at their home on South Dequincy
Street in Indianapolis. Carr and S.G. had dated and had
previously lived together. However, Carr had not been invited
to S.G.'s home that evening.
Carr, who was on house arrest and wore an ankle monitoring
device, went to S.G.'s parents' home looking for S.G.
When S.G.'s parents informed him that S.G. was not there,
Carr went to Price's home. Price's grandmother let
Carr in the home when he arrived during the party, and he
proceeded to the basement where he found S.G. with the other
party attendees. Carr was in the basement for two to three
minutes before he asked S.G. to come outside to help him with
something. S.G. left the basement with Carr.
Approximately twenty minutes later, Dakota Burgess drove up
to the home and saw S.G. lying on the ground in a puddle,
unresponsive. Burgess saw someone he could not identify climb
into a car and quickly drive away. At the same time that
Burgess arrived, Price's grandmother looked out the front
door and saw Carr, who was bent down, get up with something
in his hand. Carr got into his car and drove away rapidly.
There was no one else around apart from Burgess and Carr when
Price's grandmother looked out the front door.
Price called 9-1-1. During the 9-1-1 call, S.G. can be heard
identifying "Robert" as the person who had stabbed
her in the eye. Confidential Exhibits, Exhibit 3 at
2:59-3:19. When paramedics arrived, they found S.G. in
critical condition. She was covered in blood, having
sustained a stab wound to her left eye, a complex orbital
fracture caused by a fist or a kick, and lacerations above
her clavicle and on the posterior of her left thigh. S.G. was
transported to the hospital for treatment. At the hospital,
Detective Tobi Cobain took a statement from S.G. in which
S.G. identified Carr as the person who held her in his
vehicle while armed with a steak knife and stabbed her in her
left eye with the same knife. Confidential Exs., Ex. 18 at
4-7. After interviewing Price, Burgess, and S.G., Detective
Cobain concluded probable cause existed to arrest Carr.
On November 28, 2016, the State charged Carr with a number of
offenses, including criminal confinement while armed with a
deadly weapon, a Level 3 felony; battery resulting in serious
bodily injury, a Level 5 felony; and escape, a level 6
felony. On December 27, 2016, the trial court
entered a no-contact order that prohibited Carr from having
contact with S.G.:
in person, by telephone or letter, through an intermediary,
or in any other way, directly or indirectly, except through
an attorney of record . . . .
This provision shall also be effective even if the defendant
has not been released from lawful detention.
* * *
This Order remains in effect until this case has been tried
and the Defendant has been sentenced if found guilty.
Appendix, Volume II at 75-77 (emphasis omitted). Carr's
trial was set for September 11, 2017. In March of 2017, Carr
began sending letters to S.G. in which he apologized to her.
On April 28, 2017, Carr's second attorney, Robert Alden,
deposed S.G. The deposition was recorded but not transcribed.
After taking S.G.'s deposition, Alden informed Carr that
S.G. was "on board" and mentioned plea
negotiations. Transcript, Volume II at 149. Carr rejected the